“Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje Calls for Community Reevaluation”, He need only look in the mirror if said Karmapa is depressed

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Somebody needs to give this young man a good talking to I think.

“… in early March, the prominent Tibetan Buddhist religious leader openly expressed his life-long struggle to meet the demands that come with his leadership role—saying, ‘I have been depressed’—as well as his wish to dissolve sectarian sentiments within his lineage.

‘Many people think to themselves that being the Karmapa is some incredible thing, but for me, that hasn’t happened,’ said Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 32, one of two claimants to the title of the 17th Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.” Tricycle.org

Pathetic. Nothing can normalize a Karmapa caught laundering Chinese money. The Panama Papers gave India the leverage to force him to flee India. Once the news broke that heads were rolling in Pakistan it was only a matter of time before India followed suit.

After being forced to flee India for Great Britain, in London, a hastily hosted public appearance was scheduled. The web site was in English and Chinese. Obviously no Tibetan was involved. The financials on the not-for-profit were sketchy. He wasn’t using anyone used before. He had a mental breakdown.

After decamping for Germany, his teaching tour canceled, his depression diagnosed while there, a listening tour of Tibetan enclaves in Canada was to be the beginning of his rehabilitation. The old folks venerated him. The kids were less than impressed by China’s 17th Karmapa.

He’s depressed, living in hiding for the most part here. He ate out at vegetarian restaurant. He did something for a group of known Tibetan collaborators at Madison Square Garden recently. He visited Hartford KTC, but otherwise he is minding his business here.

Given where his head has been at post-Panama Papers it is probably for the best. His life’s goal is to visit Sikkim, secure the Black Hat and return it to Tsurphu. It’s not like he can give back his robes. To do so would delegitimize him in the eyes of the Chinese whom venerate him as a living Buddha.

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.@joshua_eaton via ThinkProgress: “Buddhist leader sexually assaulted students, report finds”

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Let us now speak of Shambhala Buddhism in the past tense.

“A prominent Tibetan Buddhist leader based in Halifax, Canada, sexually assaulted three of his female students and engaged in coercive sexual relationships with others, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine.” thinkprogress.org

The grooming of female sangha members to have sex with Rinpoche is wrong.

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Shambhala Buddhism’s #metoo moment: “No Right, No Wrong” An interview with Pema Chödrön Tricycle/fall 1993

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This is a perfect example of how Buddhist groups, not just Shambhala Buddhists, have actively groomed female Sangha members to be sexually abused by their teachers over the past 40 years here. This is wrong. For us it always has been and it always will be.

“Pema Chodron: My undying devotion to Trungpa Rinpoche comes from his teaching me in every way he could that you can never make things right or wrong. I consider it my good fortune that somehow I was thrown into a way of understanding Buddhism which in the Zen tradition is called ‘don’t know mind’: Don’t know. Don’t know right. Don’t know wrong. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to make things right and wrong you can never even talk about fulfilling your bodhisattva vows.” Tricycle.org

There is no greater mistake a Buddhist can make than allowing our intellectual understanding of emptiness to rationalize the sexual predations of our teachers as Pema Chödrön has done since she took refuge 44 years ago. Let her legacy be not what she knows but what she should have known, that grooming female Sangha members to have sex with her teacher is wrong.

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Panama Papers: Ogyen Trinley Dorje, China’s 17th Karmapa, never to return to India

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In 2016 the Panama Papers documented how the so-called Tibetan leader second only to the Dalai Lama had used his Kagyu Monlam LTD to launder money for the Chinese over the past decade. As noted here 14 months ago Ogyen Trinley Dorje, China’s 17th Karmapa, given said leverage against him in the possession of the Indian government had been forced to flee India one step ahead of said nation’s intelligence services. And this is in fact with the benefit of hindsight exactly what happened.

“Sources told The Tribune that the Karmapa may extend his stay “indefinitely or even seek asylum in the US”. He was under regular surveillance at the Gyuto Tantric Monastery here, “but in the US, he will be free to travel and to meet anybody, even those coming from China”, sources said.

In Delhi, Home Ministry sources cited ‘medical reasons’ for him being there.

A senior official at the Karmapa’s office refused to comment on the matter. Despite several attempts, officials of the Tibetan government in exile were unavailable for a response.

This is the longest — almost 14 months — that a Tibetan monk of this rank has been away from India. The Dalai Lama’s trips abroad usually last for a couple of months. As requested by the Central Tibetan Administration, a three-month visa is issued to Tibetan IC (Identity Certificate) holders for travel abroad. ” tribuneindia.com

As previously noted here the Indian Government lifted said Karmapa’s travel restrictions in 2017 not because they no longer considered him a Chinese active measure against their nation but instead to see if he would take the bait and flee into the arms of his Chinese handlers abroad which is exactly what he has done over the past 14 months in the West since.

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“The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report”

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Trungpa baked the normalization of sexual predation it into these people’s culture and this is the result.

“Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala — an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up.” newyorktimes.com

Said normalization of sexual predation is not unique to Shambhala Buddhism. It is the norm for most if not all Tibetan Buddhist intentional communities established here over the past 40 years. It is a time honored Tibetan tradition used by Tibetans to seperate their true believers from the rest of us. For too long the day has belonged to said true believers. Sexual predation isn’t a bug in Tibetan Buddhism but a feature.

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Sakyong facing sexual misconduct allegations apologizes to Shambhala community

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Another so called Tibetan “Bodhisattva” bites the dust.

HALIFAX — International Buddhist leader Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is apologizing for the “pain, confusion and anger” sweeping through the Shambhala community amid sexual misconduct allegations against the Nova Scotia-based spiritual leader. thechronicleherald

Good riddance.

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From “Talk Six from Chogyam Trungpa’s Sadhana of Mahamudra seminar, November 30, 1975…”

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Tibetan Buddhism with Western Characterists par example.

“This sadhana has been written in a traditional style. Sadhanas are traditionally written in a certain environment by someone who has a feeling about the subject. To make a long story short, there was tremendous corruption, confusion, lack of faith, and lack of practice in Tibet. Many teachers and spiritual leaders worked very hard to try to rectify that problem. But most of their efforts led only to failure, except for a few dedicated students who could relate with some real sense of practice. The degeneration of Buddhism in Tibet was connected with that lack of practice: performing rituals became people’s main occupation. Even if they were doing practice, they thought constantly about protocol. It was like one of us thinking, “Which clothes should I wear today? What shirt should I wear today? What kind of makeup should I wear today? Which tie should I wear today?” Tibetans would think, “What kind of ceremony can I perform today? What would be appropriate?” They never thought about what was actually needed in a given situation.

Jamgön Kongtrül, my root guru, my personal teacher, was constantly talking about that problem. He wasn’t happy about the way things were going. He wasn’t very inspired to work on a larger scale because he felt that unless he could create a nucleus of students who practiced intensely and who could work together, unless he could create such a dynamic situation he couldn’t get his message to the rest of the people. You might think that Tibet was the only place in the world where spirituality was practiced quite freely, but that’s not the case. We had our own difficulties in keeping up properly with tradition. Before the 1950’s, a lot of gorgeous temples were built, a lot of fantastic decorations were done. There was lots of brocade, lots of ceremony, statues, lots of chötens, lots of horses, lots of mules. The cooking was fantastic, but there was not much learning, not much sitting. That became a problem.

Sometimes Jamgön Kongtrül got very pissed off. He would lose his temper without any reason, and we thought that he was mad over our misbehaving. But he was angry over something much greater than that. It was terrible what was going on in our country. Many other teachers besides Jamgön Kongtrül began to talk about that: the whole environment was beginning to flip into a lower level of spirituality. The only thing we needed was for American tourists to come along. [Laughter] Fortunately, thanks to Chairman Mao Tse-tung [laughter], that didn’t happen, which actually saved us.”


There is no middle ground between dictatorship and democracy.

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A reminder of why OTD is known here as China’s Karmapa

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I submit the following for your consideration as it pertains to OTD as being China’s Karmapa.

“The seizure by police of large sums of Chinese currency from the Indian monastery of the Karmapa – one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism – has revived old suspicions about his continuing links with China and forced him to deny that he is an “agent of Beijing”…

… Indian officials have expressed apprehension that China may be funding Dorje as part of a plan to influence the Karmapa’s Kagyu sect, which controls important monasteries along the militarised Indo-Tibetan border.

According to Xu Zhitao, an official at the Chinese Communist party central committee’s united front work department, the allegation that “the Karmapa [may be] a Chinese agent or spy shows that India is keeping its mistrustful attitude toward China”. But such an attitude seems warranted: Xu’s Tibet division is tasked with overseeing monastic institutions, inculcating “patriotic” norms among monks and nuns – through re-education when necessary – and infiltrating the Tibetan resistance movement and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries on both sides of the Indo-Tibetan frontier.

Communities in the Himalayan region have historically been closely integrated. But, with Tibet locked behind an iron curtain since the 1951 Chinese annexation, the economies and cultures of the entire Himalayan region have weakened. Tibetan Buddhism, however, still serves as the common link, with the Karmapa’s Kagyu sect a powerful force on the Indian side.

The cash haul has reopened the question that arose in 1999: Was China behind Dorje’s flight to India, or is he a genuine defector who simply got fed up with living in a gilded Chinese cage?

China had several possible motives for staging his “escape”, including a desire to strengthen his claim to the title at a time when the rival contender (backed by important interests in India, Bhutan and Taiwan) appeared to be gaining ground. Had Dorje remained in Tibet, he could have lost out to his rival, because the 280-year-old Rumtek monastery, the Kagyu school’s holiest institution, is where the sect’s all-powerful “black hat”, the symbolic crown of the Karmapa – believed to be woven from the hair of female deities – is located.

China would also have drawn comfort from the fact that, within the murky world of intra-Tibetan politics, its anointed Karmapa, oddly, had the Dalai Lama’s backing. Historically, the Dalai Lamas and Karmapas vied with each other for influence until the Dalai Lama’s Gelug school gained ascendancy over the Kagyu order. According to Tibetan tradition, however, the Dalai Lama has no role in selecting or endorsing a Karmapa. The Dalai Lama in this case gave his approval for purely political reasons.

The previous Karmapa died in 1981, and the controversy over his successor that has raged ever since also epitomises a struggle for control of the $1.5bn in assets held by the Kagyu order, the richest in Tibetan Buddhism. With control of the Rumtek monastery embroiled in rival lawsuits, the New Delhi-based Karmapa has, not surprisingly, greeted the recent cash seizure as “exposing” his Chinese-appointed rival.

Significantly, in contrast to its increasingly vituperative attacks on the Dalai Lama, China has not denounced (or de-recognised) its Karmapa, despite his flight to India signalling its failure to retain the loyalty of a supposed puppet. The Mandarin-speaking Ogyen Trinley Dorje, now 25, occasionally criticises the Chinese government, including its efforts “to create this ethnic conflict” in Tibet. Nevertheless, China has refrained from attacking him, making clear that it wants him to return eventually.”


It is no rumor that OTD is China’s Karmapa. Just follow the money.

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How the 16th Karmapa came to visit Sikkim prior to his Parinirvana at Zion, Illinois in 1981

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I submit the following for your consideration the following narrative of how the 16th Karmapa came to visit the kingdom of Sikkim where he came to reside prior to his Parinirvana at Zion, Illinois in 1981 and his thought process as such in doing so.

“The Chinese hostilities became intolerable and it was clear that possibilities for a peaceful existence were becoming very unlikely. Realising that the cause of the Dharma would best be served by escaping from the Chinese, the 16th Karmapa decided that he had no choice but to move to more peaceful areas.

Accordingly, in 1959, accompanied by an entourage of one hundred and sixty lamas, monks and laymen, the 16th Karmapa left Tsurphu monastery, the ancient seat of the Karmapas since the twelfth century, and proceeded towards Bhutan. Accompanying him were Shamar Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche and the fourth Ponlop Rinpoche, as well as many other incarnate lamas. Jamgon Kongtrul was already in Kalimpong, India, and Situ Tulku was in Bhutan.

Under the direction of the 16th Karmapa, the party was able to bring along the most precious of the sacred statues, ritual items, relics, icons, paintings, books and costumes that had been preserved at the Tsurphu monastery over the centuries. The hazardous and difficult journey, taking twenty-one days in all, passed through Lhodrag in southern Tibet, the birthplace of Marpa the Translator. Rites were performed at various sacred places on the way, for the welfare of all sentient beings and for the preservation of the Buddhist Dharma in the difficult times ahead.

The party arrived safely at Shabje Thang, in the Bumthang district of north Bhutan. They were most warmly welcomed by Her Royal Highness Tsultrim Palmo, the Aunt of His Royal Highness the King, and many ministers and high-ranking officials of the government. At this time, discussions were started with the Government of India, considering future plans for the resettlement of the 16th Karmapa and his many followers. It was decided that all should transit through Bhutan and settle temporarily in Dharamsala, North Western India.

There was one thought uppermost in the 16th Karmapa’s mind. Though in exile, he should not rest, but take responsibility for rekindling and revitalizing the torch of the Dharma, with the material and spiritual cooperation of Buddhists throughout the world. He felt that the Dharma had become like a lamp that needed a supply of vital oil, in order to burn with a clear strong light.

In his contemplation, the 16th Karmapa felt that Sikkim would be the best place to set about creating the conditions for the fulfillment of his mission. Sikkim was considered especially suitable on account of the natural Buddhist inclinations of the people and particularly as the country had been sanctified by a visit of Guru Padmasambhava in the distant past. Therefore he readily accepted the kind invitation to establish himself in that country.

Accompanied by Her Royal Highness Tsultrim Palmo of Bhutan, the 16th Karmapa led the party to Gangtok. Sir Tashi Namgyal, the Maharaja, offered him the choice of several sites in his kingdom for the location of the new monastery. Karmapa selected the site at Rumtek, where a Karma Kagyu monastery had been built during the time of his ninth incarnation, Wangchuk Dorje. This place possessed all the auspicious attributes needed for the site of a seat of the Karmapa: seven streams flowing towards it, seven hills facing it, a mountain behind, snow ranges in front, and a river below, spiralling downhill like the form of a conch shell.

The 16th Karmapa and his party immediately arranged to proceed directly to Rumtek. At that time Rumtek consisted of a monastery that was mostly in ruins, and about half a dozen huts surrounded by jungle. There was neither adequate accommodation nor facilities for preparing food.”


It was not so much a matter of his fleeing for his life nor a political statement against China’s occupation of Tibet but his desire to bring his lineage of Buddhism to the West as his Parinirvana here did in fact accomplished I think.

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In no rush to visit Sikkim 17th Karmapa to appear at Queens College instead next month

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When the rumor was run up the flagpole here recently that OTD was going to risk returning to India in May I had to laugh at the folly of going there. Under normal circumstances as anyone old enough to have children in their thirties, shit happens. Plans change. Not withstanding the expectations we adults whom have forgotten what it means to be their age have for said young people as it pertains to our plans for them they will until we die remain our children. That being said for the past 30 years a 17th Karmapa in Sikkim has been a given for Diaspora Tibetans. For Tibetans there future is in their return to the past. Fast forward to the present though OTD has balked at the idea of returning to India anytime soon according to the schedule he has apparently committed himself to which has him here through June.

It was May of last year when the Indian Government decided to flip the script

on China’s 17th Karmapa and let him leave the country which he subsequently fled like a bat out of hell for London. A not-for-profit was hastily formed by his Chinese handlers and an event was scheduled for him to appear at which was advertised in English and Chinese but not Tibetan, not a good start for a supposed previously scheduled teaching tour. At this point a depressed OTD moved on to Germany where he was diagnosed. He had suffered a mental breakdown apparently while in London. He couldn’t go on. To lift his spirits his Chinese handlers had him do a listing tour of Diaspora Tibetans in Canada which only made worsened his depression. It only reminded him of his unhappy childhood at Tsurphu and so on. All of which brought him here to get away from it all.

At first there was no way he wouldn’t be ship shape and good to go for Kagyu Monlam. His Chinese handlers rescheduled. In the end OTD balked at returning to India. He was still too depressed for the dog and pony show that is his life there. When he arrived there he was heralded as the next Dalai Lama, so to speak. It doesn’t work that way, he would serve as Regent. And then he was caught hiding suitcases full of illegally held foreign currency in the Dalai Lama’s Monastery and that was the end of that. The Tibetan Government in exile changed its constitution to prevent said presumed succession. Suffice it to say outside of Sikkim where his supports live on India’s border with China OTD is China’s 17th Karmapa. And so on. No wonder he was so depressed.

The 16th Karmapa passed into Parinirvana here and it is here that his lineage’s future remains not in a Tibetan past but a young man’s future in which anything is possible, as his predecessor intended for the child selected to succeed him. Today a no longer depressed OTD is at last in a position to at least try to follow in the footsteps of the 16th Karmapa. Just as the 16th Karmapa put India behind him so has OTD. Slowly but surely he appears to be settling into his new life here. And good for him. A Karmapa can’t be the victim of circumstances beyond his control that OTD has been in his life to date. It can’t be so for a Karmapa. A Karmapa knows no circumstances beyond their control. This is what we aspire to, his example, the result which we Karma Kagyu take as our path, our guru yoga, the journey we make as every Karma Kagyu going back over 900 years as a lineage. The obstacles are many but so too are the opportunities. All as it should be. If we wanted anything otherwise we wouldn’t be known as the mishap lineage, a reputation well earned down through history to the present.

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